Punsk Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Podlaskie Voivodeship
Site address
Cemetery doesn’t have an address. The Jewish cemetery is situated in a wooded area along the northern side of Sudawska Street. The cemetery area starts after the intersection of Sudawska and Nowa streets.
GPS coordinates
54.251261, 23.166968
Perimeter length
331 meters
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is fenced with an old concrete wall. The wall is seriously damaged: the southern part, adjacent to Sudawska Street, has been demolished and some blocks of the north-western part are missing.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The Jewish cemetery of Puńsk is located in a rural area on the western outskirts of the village. The cemetery is situated in a wooded area on a small hill, the adjacent fields are agricultural. The territory is well-maintained, dense bushes have been cut back in the area where the most tombstones are, even still there are some overgrown areas in the northern part of the cemetery. The cemetery is fenced, however the wall needs repair and rebuilding in the south. Some tombstones have been preserved.
Number of existing gravestones
Date of oldest tombstone
1712 (according to sztetl.org.pl), 1813 (by ESJF)
Date of newest tombstone
1870 (by ESJF)
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The town of Puńsk was founded in the royal estates in 1597 and received Magdeburg rights in 1647. It is not known when Jewish settlement began in Puńsk. In 1797, among 299 inhabitants, there were 60 Jews (20%); in 1820, among 597 inhabitants, there were 353 Jews (60%); and in 1921, among 443 inhabitants, there were 288 Jews (65%). Jewish community buildings, including a modest wooden synagogue, were built on the main street. At the beginning of World War II, the Germans led the Jews of Puńsk towards the border with Lithuania. Their fate is unknown. The Germans also destroyed the community facilities.

The cemetery was established before 1800, about 500 metres northwest of the market square, on a small hill. Its history and original appearance are unknown. It was partially destroyed during World War II. After the war, it was neglected and covered with trees and shrubs. In 2019, the Commune Office cleaned up the cemetery – bushes were cut down and an information board was erected. The original area of the cemetery (0.7 hectares) is preserved and is shaped like a rectangle. The cemetery is clearly visible and is partially enclosed by a concrete fence. Several dozen matzevot (mostly their bases) made of granite erratic boulders have survived. The oldest readable one is from 1808.